The Queen’s health: When was the last time she was in hospital and does she have any health issues?

·5 min read
When was the last time the Queen was in hospital? (PA)
When was the last time the Queen was in hospital? (PA)

Queen Elizabeth has returned to Windsor Castle and is in “good spirits” after spending a night in hospital earlier this week, Buckingham Palace has said.

The announcement comes after the monarch, who turned 95 this year, “reluctantly” cancelled a visit to Northern Ireland on Wednesday.

She was due to meet locals and school children in County Down, where a village has been renamed to Royal Hillsborough.

At the time, officials said the royal had “accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days”.

In an updated statement on Thursday, 21 October, the palace said the Queen had spent a night in hospital to undergo “preliminary investigations”.

“Following medical advice to rest for a few days, the Queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits,” the full statement said.

It is understood that the admittance was not announced earlier because she was due to stay for only a short period of time.

Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty Magazine said the issue of revealing details about the royal’s health is “tricky” because of her status.

“So does that entitle us to know exactly what ailments she may or may not have? It’s a very difficult one to get the balance right for the satisfaction of everybody,” he said.

At the age of 95, the Queen is the longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch in British history. She is due to celebrate her 70th year on the throne with a long weekend of Platinum Jubilee events in June 2022.

This week, it emerged that she had declined the honour of being named The Oldie magazine’s “Oldie of The Year”, telling the publication that she does not meet the relevant criteria.

“Her Majesty believes you are as old as you feel, as such The Queen does not believe she meets the relevant criteria to be able to accept,” her office said.

The news of the hospital stay has caused national concern about the Queen – who was pictured using a walking stick during a service at Westminster Abbey earlier this month – as she is generally perceived to be in good health for her age and any illnesses have been few and far between.

We’ve taken a closer look at the Queen’s health in recent years and whether she has spent time in hospital before.

When did she last stay in hospital?

This week marked the Queen’s first overnight stay since 2013, when she was admitted to the King Edward VIII hospital to be treated for symptoms of gastroenteritis.

She was initially taken in for an assessment on 3 March, 2013 but was kept overnight.

The monarch – who was 86 years old at the time – missed a royal engagement in Swansea, where she was due to present St David’s Day leeks to the 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh.

At the time, she was pictured leaving the hospital smiling and thanking staff before being driven to Buckingham Palace.

Following the stay, a further week of appearances were cancelled as the Queen “continued to recover following her recent illness”.

This included a two-day trip to Rome and the Commonwealth Day Observance service – the first one she had missed in 20 years.

Does the Queen have any health issues?

The Queen does not have any known major medical conditions but has suffered from minor ailments over the years.

In January 2020, she pulled out of her annual visit to the Sandringham Women’s Institute because she had a cold.

Two years prior, in June 2018 she missed a service at St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the 200th anniversary of the Order of Michael and St George because she was feeling “under the weather”, Buckingham Palace said.

In December 2016, just before Christmas, both the Queen and her late husband, Prince Philip fell ill with heavy colds.

The Queen later said the couple had suffered from a “particularly grisly mixture of cold and flu which had been going around”.

As a result, she was not well enough to attend the Christmas Day or New Year’s Day services at St Mary Magdalene church.

How active is the queen?

As of May 2020, the Queen was still riding her Fell ponies around her estate in Windsor.

Buckingham Palace shared photographs of the Queen dressed in an olive-green blazer and colourful headscarf while riding her pony Fern.

The Queen is still driving. Much to the delight of the public, in July she was pictured driving her Range Rover from Windsor Castle to the Royal Windsor Horse Show – a relatively short journey as the show takes place on castle grounds.

While the Queen still attends royal engagements across the UK, she called time on her overseas travels when she turned 90. Younger members of the family now attend events in long-haul destinations on her behalf.

Is the Queen vaccinated?

The Queen and Prince Philip received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in January.

Buckingham Palace said a household doctor at Windsor Castle had administered the jab. As reported by the BBC, the Queen had decided to make her vaccination public knowledge to prevent speculation.

During a video call with health officials in February, she said her vaccination “didn’t hurt at all” and that those who are unsure about getting the jab “ought to think about other people rather than themselves”.

Has the Queen ever had surgery?

The Queen had minor eye surgery to remove a cataract in May 2018. She was treated as a day patient and did not cancel any public engagements but was pictured wearing sunglasses after the procedure.

In 2003, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen would undergo an operation at King Edward VII Hospital to remove a torn cartilage in her left knee.

Has the Queen ever broken a bone?

The Queen broke her left wrist after falling off a horse while riding at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk in 1994.

According to Press Association, at the time she had brushed herself down and remounted the horse.

The break was not diagnosed until almost 24 hours later when her arm was X-rayed at a hospital.

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